Search

You searched for: Author Ari Armstrong Remove constraint Author: Ari Armstrong Content Type Journal Article Remove constraint Content Type: Journal Article
Number of results to display per page

Search Results

  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Responsibility Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, by Diana Hsieh. Sedalia, CO: Philosophy in Action, 2013. 214 pp. $19.99 (paperback). Imagine people in three different scenarios: . Abe and Bill both get blinding drunk at a bar, leave at the same time, and drive home at the same rate of speed. Both run a (different) red light at the same time on the way home. By bad luck, a single mother with her two children is driving through the intersection along Abe's course, and Abe rams his car into hers, killing her and her two children. Bill, on the other hand, makes it home without injuring anyone. . Alan and Betty walk along different piers at the same lake. Both are equally brave, but Betty sees a drowning boy in the lake and dives in and saves him. Alan does not see anyone in distress. . Adriana and Benjamin are born in very different circumstances. Adriana's parents are wealthy, and she grows up with a good education and many opportunities to improve herself. She becomes a successful neurosurgeon. Benjamin's parents neglect and abuse him and teach him how to steal for them. He becomes an armed robber who winds up in prison. Why do we blame or praise one individual in each scenario more, given that so much of what they do and what they accomplish depends on luck? Why do we send Abe to prison and sing Betty's praises, but not do the same for their counterparts? Such issues are the subject of Diana Hsieh's book, Responsibility Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame. As Hsieh makes clear, one's answers to questions about moral responsibility radically affect one's approach to moral judgment, to criminal justice, and to political policy. Decisions made in the criminal justice system depend substantially on moral judgments. Hsieh opens her book with the example of a Colorado man who, in 2005, while driving drunk at speeds exceeding one hundred miles per hour, struck and killed another driver. The judge, noting that the man had previously injured someone else while driving drunk and that he had dropped out of an alcohol rehabilitation program, sentenced him “to the maximum penalty of twelve years in prison.” Hsieh points out, “According to ordinary moral and legal standards of culpability, [the man] deserved to be blamed and punished for his reckless driving” (p. 1). Yet, according to certain theories with which Hsieh contends in her book, the man was instead himself “a victim of bad luck” (p. 2). Moral judgments also play a key role in public policy. To draw on an earlier example, if a neurosurgeon is not fundamentally responsible for her success, then how can she deserve her large income? Why should she not be taxed in order to subsidize someone working in fast food? Indeed, if no one deserves his financial successes or failures—if such success or failure is fundamentally a matter of luck (in Barack Obama's terms, “you didn't build that”)—then it would seem that the best system is “an egalitarian political order” (p. 9). . . .
  • Topic: Education
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Timothy Sandefur is a principal attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation who focuses on economic liberty. Recently I had the opportunity to interview him about his new book on the Declaration of Independence, his work at the Foundation, and related matters. —Ari Armstrong Ari Armstrong: Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Timothy Sandefur: Thanks for having me. AA: Your book, The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty, was published early this year. How would you summarize its central arguments? TS: I argue that individual liberty is the central value, the conscience, of the Constitution. The Constitution says in its very first sentence that liberty is a “blessing.” But it doesn't say the same thing about democracy or about government in general. That is because the authors of the Constitution were building on a foundation of political philosophy, and that philosophy is articulated in the Declaration of Independence—that we are all properly equal before the law and have inalienable rights that no just government may infringe. This principle is the guidepost—the conscience—that helps us to guide our constitutional course. Or it would be the guidepost, if 20th-century thinkers had not abandoned the principles of the Declaration and replaced them with the ideas that government action is presumptively legitimate and that individual rights are just privileges the government gives to us when it chooses to. That shift is how our constitutional understanding has gone awry, and it's a leading reason why so much of the legal profession is unable to understand the document they're interpreting. The result is that our constitutional law has bizarre blind spots and contradictions. The “public use” clause was essentially erased in the infamous Kelo eminent domain case. The privileges or immunities clause was essentially erased in the 1870s in the Slaughterhouse Cases. The due process clause has been radically curtailed. These trends are a consequence of lawyers, judges, and law professors typically prioritizing democracy over liberty as a central constitutional value. So the “conscience” I refer to is a voice in our constitutional order telling us when we do something wrong. That voice is the Declaration of Independence. That's why I defend the idea of “substantive due process” [defined below]—something both conservatives and liberals have rejected nowadays. And it's why I don't buy arguments for “judicial restraint”—which usually seem to mean that when the legislature violates the Constitution, the courts should just look the other way—again, to prioritize democracy over liberty. AA: You argue that early American lawyers and political leaders understood the Declaration of Independence as an important interpretive guide to the Constitution. How was that understanding lost in American law?
  • Topic: Government
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Edge of Tomorrow, directed by Doug Liman. Written by Christopher Mcquarrie, Jez Butterworth, and John-Henry Butterworth, based on the novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, and Brendan Gleeson. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, 2014. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language, and brief suggestive material. Running Time: 113 minutes.
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Star Trek: First Contact, directed by Jonathan Frakes. Written By Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, And Ronald D. Moore. Starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates Mcfadden, Marina Sirtis, Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, And Alice Krige. Distributed by Paramount Pictures, 1996. Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi adventure violence. Running Time: 111 minutes. Reviewed by Ari Armstrong Imagine a future in which humans rove the galaxy in starships; colonize the moon, distant planets, and space stations; and radically expand their knowledge of the universe. Star Trek: First Contact invites us to imagine just such a future, and it does so in the context of a nail-biting action story pitting the “next generation” crew of the Federation ship Enterprise against mankind's most frightening foes of their fictional universe: the collectivist Borg, who rasp, through cybernetic implants, “Resistance is futile.” Although each of the four films involving The Next Generation (the crew led by Captain Jean Luc Picard) has its merits, First Contact rises above the rest in its storytelling. In the film, the Borg first attack Earth and then send a probe back to their past (our future) to hinder mankind's development and make Earth easy prey for the Borg. What is the singular event the Borg hopes to stop? It is the first human space flight involving “warp” (faster than light) travel, something that (in the world of Star Trek) takes place on April 4, 2063. That the pivotal event of the film is a major technological advancement says a lot about the spirit of the franchise. The crew of Enterprise follow the Borg probe back in time, leading to a twofold story: In Montana, part of the crew help an inventor of 2063 repair his warp ship damaged by the Borg, while on Enterprise (orbiting Earth) the rest of the crew battle a Borg takeover.
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 08-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: The Martian, by Andy Weir. New York: Crown, 2014. 384 pp. $24 (hardcover). Reviewed by Ari Armstrong Imagine you're on a mission on Mars. Your space suit, not to mention your body, was punctured by an antenna blown loose by a raging sandstorm. Luckily, although the blow knocked you unconscious, the blood from your wound helped seal the hole, so you didn't die from lack of oxygen. Now that you're awake and moving again, you realize an unfortunate fact: Your entire crew, reasonably thinking you died and facing the dangerous storm, took off in the MAV (Mars Ascent Vehicle) and left you behind. You are now totally alone on a planet hostile to life. Your food supplies are running low, and you have no obvious way to communicate with Earth, much less to get home. What do you do? If you're Mark Watney, the main character of Andy Weir's near-futuristic, science fiction novel The Martian, you carefully think about what you need to do to stay alive and get rescued, and then you methodically do it. Watney's training as a botanist and a mechanical engineer gives him the skills he needs to survive; and his fierce desire to live, his fortitude, and his quirky sense of humor give him the strength of will to do it. Fortunately, Watney's own mission and various other missions to Mars have left a number of important tools at his disposal. He has a reasonably well-stocked Hab (basically, a giant pressurized tent), some solar cells, several functional space suits, two functional rovers, duct tape, glue, and various other machines and items. Oh, and he has some live potatoes, which his crew was supposed to have cooked for Thanksgiving dinner. Don't forget the potatoes! They become crucially important in Watney's efforts to survive. The story revolves around Watney coming up with clever ways to keep sucking air and consuming calories, then figuring out how to travel some two thousand miles across the cold Martian landscape to the site of a future Mars landing.
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Examines Harris's claims to have grounded his brand of utilitarianism in reality, and finds them wanting.
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Mr. Natelson discusses state-driven amendments to restrain federal spending, the processes of proposing and passing or rejecting such amendments, the safeguards in place for preventing a "runaway convention" that might fundamentally alter the U.S. Constitution, and more.
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: If you want to learn the theories and history of economists who champion government controls of the economy-and of economists who criticize such intervention-Randy T. Simmons's Beyond Politics: The Roots of Government Failure is a fantastic resource.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
9. Lincoln
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Written by Tony Kushner. Based on the book Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, and Tommy Lee Jones.Rated PG-13 for an intense scene of war violence, some images of carnage, and brief strong language. Running time: 150 minutes.
  • Author: Ari Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. Distributed by the Weinstein Company. Rated R for strong graphic violence throughout, a vicious fight, language, and some nudity. Running time: 165 minutes.
  • Political Geography: Washington